Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Physical punishment of children potentially harmful to their long-term development

Date:
February 6, 2012
Source:
Canadian Medical Association Journal
Summary:
An analysis of research on physical punishment of children over the past 20 years indicates that such punishment is potentially harmful to their long-term development.

An analysis of research on physical punishment of children over the past 20 years indicates that such punishment is potentially harmful to their long-term development.
Credit: Yuri Arcurs / Fotolia

An analysis of research on physical punishment of children over the past 20 years indicates that such punishment is potentially harmful to their long-term development, states an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Over the past 20 years, a growing body of research clearly indicates that children who have experienced physical punishment tend to be more aggressive toward parents, siblings, peers and, later, spouses, and are more likely to develop antisocial behaviour.

"Virtually without exception, these studies found that physical punishment was associated with higher levels of aggression against parents, siblings, peers and spouses," write Dr. Joan Durrant, Department of Family Social Sciences, University of Manitoba, and Ron Ensom, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

In a trial of an intervention designed to reduce difficult behaviour in children, when parents in more than 500 families were trained to reduce their use of physical punishment, the difficult behaviours in the children also declined.

"Results consistently suggest that physical punishment has a direct causal effect on externalizing behaviour, whether through a reflexive response to pain, modeling or coercive family processes," write the authors.

Physical punishment is also associated with a variety of mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety and use of drugs and alcohol. Physical punishment may change areas in the brain linked to performance on IQ tests and increase vulnerability to drug or alcohol dependence, as recent neuroimaging studies suggest. Attitudes toward the use of physical punishment have changed, and many countries have shifted focus to positive discipline of children and have legally abolished physical punishment.

Physicians can play an important role in advising parents on constructive approaches to discipline, based on evidence, to enhance children's healthy development.

"Physicians have a primary responsibility for translating research and evidence into guidance for parents and children, and they are credible and influential voices for advancing public education and policy concerning population health," state the authors. They can educate parents on typical childhood behaviours, suggest positive disciplinary approaches, and refer patients to public health and parenting programs and other resources.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Canadian Medical Association Journal. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Joan Durrant and Ron Ensom. Physical punishment of children: lessons from 20 years of research. CMAJ, 2012 DOI: 10.1503/cmaj.101314

Cite This Page:

Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Physical punishment of children potentially harmful to their long-term development." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120206122447.htm>.
Canadian Medical Association Journal. (2012, February 6). Physical punishment of children potentially harmful to their long-term development. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120206122447.htm
Canadian Medical Association Journal. "Physical punishment of children potentially harmful to their long-term development." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120206122447.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping School Violence

Stopping School Violence

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A trauma doctor steps out of the hospital and into the classroom to teach kids how to calmly solve conflicts, avoiding a trip to the ER. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A tiny cyst in the brain that can cause debilitating symptoms like chronic headaches and insomnia, and the doctor who performs the delicate surgery to remove them. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Burning Away Brain Tumors

Burning Away Brain Tumors

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Doctors are 'cooking' brain tumors. Hear how this new laser-heat procedure cuts down on recovery time. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins